Lotus Elan

Some Advice...

PostPost by: Over Steer » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:35 pm

Hi
I am currently restoring my '69 +2 and although it's looking like a straight forward process (I know I?m gonna regret saying that) I have a few queries; Namely:

    Would 195/60 R14 Tires make sense?

    I was thinking of Toyo T1 R's as I run them on my MX5 and love them, however I have been reading rave reviews of the Michelin XAS FF, or is this because this is one of the only tires you can fit on the standard wheels?

    Would it be sacrilege if I fitted AC Cobra style rims?

    Where can I get new front sidelights and courtesy lights as mine have gone "misty" over the years?

    I was planning on fitting Spaxx Shocks, but read a post saying that the quality isn't up to standard... any recommendations (apart from the obvious Konis).


The car will be used for fast road use, no more, as there is no race track in Malta; also to state of the roads here is atrocious, therefore a stiff setup will be unbearable (I have a race setup on my MX5 and ended up a regular at the chiropractor).

Cheers In Advance
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classic_cobra.jpg and
The wheels in question
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PostPost by: Dave-M » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:51 pm

In view of the state of the roads I would keep the car exactly as Standard it will have a fairly compliant ride, great balance and plenty of grip.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 am

tend to agree -with Dave --the thing in stock shape will be more car than you can handle for quite a while --unless your name is Shumacker ---ed
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PostPost by: Over Steer » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:49 pm

Thanks the input;

I've decided to go with stock rims and the XAS tires, Any recomendations on shocks? I've also heard good things about luminition ignition systems, however some ppl say that they don't go too well with the standard tach, and make it bounce. Any ideas?
Attachments
DSCF0224.jpg and
First coat of filler to bring out defects...
DSCF0223.jpg and
And there are LOTS of them
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PostPost by: Emma-Knight » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:45 pm

:) are there? Wish my car would look so even under the paint...

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PostPost by: Over Steer » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:01 pm

There are a lot of pinholes in the matting; I had given the car to a Glass Fiber "specialist" to arrange some minor cracks and remove the old paint... however he just mucked it all up and damaged the gel coat, sanding down to the matting, thus causing the pinholes that come out once painted.

The guy working on it now is a godsend though; he's made it his personal aim to finish it to concourse condition... he's working on is as if he's doing the Mona Lisa. At the mo' he's filling in all the defects and making sure that the base work is perfect before giving it another layer of filler, then ?re-rushing? it with spray to double check that its perfect and then starting on the paint.
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PostPost by: steveww » Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:55 pm

Over Steer wrote:Thanks the input;

I've decided to go with stock rims and the XAS tires, Any recomendations on shocks? I've also heard good things about luminition ignition systems, however some ppl say that they don't go too well with the standard tach, and make it bounce. Any ideas?


I have the Lumenition magnatronic with a Bosch blue coil and it all works with the standard tacho 8)
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PostPost by: thor » Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:59 pm

Ditto, <Lumenition with the very reliable Bosch coil, threw the Lucas "Sports" one far far into the woods by the garage....... :-)
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PostPost by: Over Steer » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:29 pm

thanks for the info, ill be looking into them tomorrow. can't wait to get her started; I'm aiming for mid january...

We'll just have to play it by ear
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:16 am

I'd go with "stock" shocks, anything but spax. Keep it as close as possible to stock if you're dodging chuckholes in the road. My stock +2 has an excellent elusive ride in it's urban potholed mideastern USA trap.
No paint is the best choice, better power to weight ratio. One thing that does not influence the handling is the paint job. Are you restoring as an investment or driver?
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PostPost by: Over Steer » Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:09 am

Ha-ha; I believe Mercedes had gone for that approach in F1 during the 70s, leaving their in car bare aluminum. Dunno about the effect of rough filler on the car?s drag coefficient though... And considering that there are only about 5 classic lotuses in the country, which are almost all garaged, the elan is going to have all the weight of the marques reputation squarely on its (now reinforced) wheel arches? I think a super gloss paint job is in order.

I?m not considering the lotus an investment really; it's been in the family since almost new so I?m planning on passing it on to my kids (a LONG LONG time away as im still 24 and not planning on any accidents, despite my girlfriend?s worst intentions) but I want to get the job right first time round and I want it to last, and if there is anything I can do to add value to it at this stage I?ll do it.
Jan

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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:27 pm

I've decided to go with stock rims and the XAS tires,
-------------
Wise move. I think that one of the best ways to make a car like the recently bemoaned Zetec abomination is to begin "improving" it without ever experiencing the as-designed version.

In the case of tires, this introduces not only clearance issues, but stress issues. The original chassis was not designed to withstand the extra forces imposed by the use of wide tires on poorly maintained public roads, and like any system, requires careful attention to its overall design when stress-inducing modifications are made.

The older Lotus cars have remarkable handling characteristics in bone stock form. I don't think it's overly hyperbolic to describe this as art. There is truly nothing quite like them, and although it isn't a given that messing with the original design parameters (created by someone who knew what he was doing a lot better than most of us) will make a hash of things, I believe it is likely.

It's a good idea to live with Colin's work so that you can understand precisely in what ways you disagree with the conclusions he has reached.
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PostPost by: thor » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:28 pm

100% agree with that reasoning, I bought my +2S with 185/60s fitted, drove half a season before putting it away. this year changed to 165/80, and will NEVER go back....

ON the other hand, I've heard L O T S of crap about Spax, the PO who has maintained the Elan beautifuly for 26 YEARS! fitted them to mine, and I'm actually quite happy with them, they're not too harsh at all.... and I come from <a Triumph background where they are also avoided like the plague.. very very strange... :roll:
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PostPost by: Over Steer » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:38 pm

it seems like i'll be avoiding spax just in case; i'll try koni's, my dad has them on his europa and says they're fine.
Jan

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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:24 am

I too agree 100% with denicholls2.
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